Just as Apple signs deal with China Mobile, smartphone growth slows in China

Just as Apple signs deal with China Mobile, smartphone growth slows in China
Apple has finally inked its long awaited deal with the world's largest carrier, China Mobile. This is obviously a big plus for the Cupertino based company. Analysts expect Apple to sell anywhere from 15 million to 30 million iPhones to China Mobile customers in the year ahead. But there is some irony here. While Apple does now have a larger number of potential iPhone buyers in the country, fresh data seems to indicate that smartphone purchasers are on the decline in China.

According to Wedge Partners, during the third quarter, China tallied 17 million to 18 million new smartphone users per month. That figure has dropped in the fourth quarter to 12.5 million to 13 million. That is a 26% to 28% sequential decline. Additionally, Wedge Partners believes that smartphone sell-through declined from a rate of 26 million to 30 million per month in August/September to 20 million in October and 18 to 19 million in November. Even after an expected bounce in December, sell-through numbers will decline 25% quarter to quarter.

Apple is the fifth most popular smartphone manufacturer in the country, but prior to the China Mobile deal, the iPhone was losing share in the country. The Apple iPhone 5s was the second most popular handset in China, but has dropped to number three. The Apple iPhone 5c is not found anywhere in the top 20. Xiaomi is the big name on the list with three of the top five handsets in China. The powerful Xiaomi Mi-3 is second and the surging OEM has two other models among the top five. Will the deal with China Mobile shake up this list? That is something we will check back on soon.

source: Barrons via AppleInsider

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11 Comments

11. rusticguy

Posts: 2828; Member since: Aug 11, 2012

So the foundation stone is already laid to explain low sales of iphone in china if it so happens.

8. Lycan155

Posts: 254; Member since: Nov 24, 2013

Please people these chinese manfucturers dont compare to apple we all know that

7. Lycan155

Posts: 254; Member since: Nov 24, 2013

Please people these chinese manfucturers dont compare to apple we all know that

9. Topcat488

Posts: 1425; Member since: Sep 29, 2012

Apple iphone IS manufactured in China, didn't YOU know that! tsk, tsk, tsk. :/

10. JMartin22

Posts: 2426; Member since: Apr 30, 2013

I have to debunk your comment. As much as I don't like Apple, the phone's designed and blueprinted out in Apple, not China. Also, there are quality control procedures put in place by Apple to make sure the products meet the company's expectations. The fact that it's merely manufactured in China, doesn't mean all that Chinese companies can deliver the same quality product you would get from Apple or Samsung.

6. darkkjedii

Posts: 31809; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Rev em up apple, conjediifucious say you'll do great in china.

5. tiara6918

Posts: 2263; Member since: Apr 26, 2012

Xiaomi is like inspired by the iphone especially if you're going to test out miui, it does remind me of ios a lot. The reason for their success is the price and specs you get at a very good deal.

4. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

And in addition to market growth slowing, viable home-grown alternatives to iToys are presenting serious competitive challenges. Magic 8-Ball says Apple doesn't grow its sales in China as much as it was hoping it would.

3. QWIKSTRIKE

Posts: 1461; Member since: Mar 09, 2010

Rofl Apple does it again...ask Sprint about buying a declining phone system in a saturated market dominated by other phone makers like a Samsung. If phone growth is slowing will Apple save the day or choke the profits out of sales. Get a bag of popcorn and lets wait and see!

2. xperiaDROID

Posts: 5629; Member since: Mar 08, 2013

Xiaomi Vivo 3? There's no such phone, Alan. Don't you mean Vivo Xplay 3s?

1. roobs

Posts: 96; Member since: Mar 18, 2013

kudos to xiaomi. top notch hardware and software support.

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